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CIC notice to RBI for dishonouring Supreme Court order to disclose wilful defaulters’ list

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The CIC recalled that RBI had earlier disclosed, in response to an RTI application, that bad debt stood at Rs 15,551 crore for the financial year ending March 2012 and that it had shot up by over three times to Rs 52,542 crore by the end of March 201.

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued a show-cause notice to RBI Governor Urjit Patel for “dishonouring” a Supreme Court judgment on disclosure of wilful defaulters’ list and told the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make public the letter of former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on bad loans.

Irked over the denial of information on the disclosure of the names of wilful defaulters who have taken bank loans of Rs 50 crore and above by the RBI in spite of a Supreme Court order, the CIC has asked Patel to explain why a maximum penalty be not imposed on him for “dishonouring” the verdict which had upheld a decision taken by then Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, calling for disclosure of names of wilful defaulters.

Central Information Commissioner M Sridhar Acharyulu, according to ANI, said, “We got RTI for disclosing list of names of wilful defaulters who defaulted on loans beyond Rs 50Cr. A similar RTI was filed earlier in which the earlier Information Commissioner had given an order that names of defaulters can be disclosed along with action taken.”

“In the RTI, RBI bank inspection reports were demanded, RBI resisted & took the matter to the CIC, CIC ordered that info should be given & around a dozen appeals were transferred to SC. SC said that the info has to be disclosed. RBI has the duty to implement the SC orders.”

A PTI report said the CIC pointed out that Patel, speaking on September 20 at the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), had said the guidelines on vigilance, issued by the CVC, were aimed at achieving greater transparency, promoting a culture of honesty and probity in public life and improving the overall vigilance administration in the organisations within its purview.

“The Commission feels that there is no match between what RBI Governor and Deputy Governor say and their website regarding their RTI policy, and great secrecy of vigilance reports and inspection reports is being maintained with impunity in spite of the Supreme Court confirming the orders of the CIC in the Jayantilal case”, Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.

He concluded that it did not serve any purpose in punishing the CPIO for this defiance, because he acted under the instructions of the top authorities.

“The Commission considers the Governor as deemed PIO responsible for non-disclosure and defiance of SC orders and CIC orders and directs him to show cause why maximum penalty should not be imposed on him for these reasons, before November 16, 2018,” Acharyulu said.

He rejected the arguments of Santosh Kumar Panigrahy of the RBI that section 22 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act would not override various laws he quoted, prohibiting disclosure of names and details of wilful defaulters and hence, the RBI should be discharged from the obligations of disclosure.

“His contention that unless the above referred enactments are repealed, the RBI cannot disclose the details of defaulters is also absurd,” Acharyulu said.

He added that another contention of Panigrahy that the pendency of a PIL before the Supreme Court on the issue would prevent him from disclosure was also baseless as he did not present any interim order passed by the Supreme Court preventing the disclosure of names of wilful defaulters or against the proceedings before the CIC.

“These submissions of the RBI show that its legal wing did not bring to the notice of the CPIO that in the RBI vs Jayantilal N Mistry case, a Supreme Court bench consisting of M Y Eqbat and C Nagappan JJ, on December 16, 2015 [Transferred Cases (Civil) Nos. 91 to 101 of 2015], gave a landmark decision, upholding the direction of the CIC to disclose the inspection reports of the RBI and the names of wilful defaulters in many cases, rejecting all the above referred contentions of the RBI,” Acharyulu said.

The information commissioner said in that case, the counsel for the RBI had raised the same contentions, referring to the same cases referred by Panigrahy, and those were straightaway rejected by the Supreme Court.

“The commission finds no merit in hiding the names of, details and action against wilful defaulters of big bad loans worth hundreds of crores of rupees.

“The RBI shall disclose the bad debt details of defaulters worth more than Rs 1,000 crore at the beginning, of Rs 500 crore or less at a later stage within five days and collect such information from the banks in due course to update their voluntary disclosures from time to time as a practice under section 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act,” he said.

In his order, Acharyulu also recalled how the RBI had “lost all their cases and contentions” when they had moved the Supreme Court against the directions of former CIC Shailesh Gandhi. Calling upon administrative officers of CIC to pursue these contempt of court cases against top management of RBI, he asked: “If the banking regulatory like RBI will not honour the constitutional directions, what will be the effect of constitution on securing rule of law?”

Acharyulu also made a fervent appeal to the RBI governor – to remember the farmers who die as they fail to repay their debt – “before defying the transparency law and directions”. He also asked Patel to immediately discontinue the non-disclosure policy saying it would seriously harm the economy of the nation. As per the National Crime Records Bureau, in 2015 along over 3,000 farmers had committed suicide across the country as they were unable to repay their loans.

In his order, Acharyulu also recalled that RBI had earlier disclosed, in response to an RTI application, that bad debt stood at Rs 15,551 crore for the financial year ending March 2012 and that it had shot up by over three times to Rs 52,542 crore by the end of March 2015.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Mamata Banerjee slams BJP over Mahua Moitra expulsion from Lok Sabha says betrayal of  parliamentary democracy

The West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress boss said she felt sad to see the attitude of the BJP. She said the BJP did not allow Mahua Moitra to explain her stand.

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday slammed the BJP over Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra’s expulsion from the Lok Sabha after a debate on the cash-for-query allegations. She said the move was unacceptable and betrayed India’s parliamentary democracy.

Talking to the media, Banerjee said she felt sad to see the attitude of the BJP. She questioned how the BJP can betray parliamentary democracy. She said the BJP did not even allow Mahua to explain her stand in the House. She added full injustice had been done to the expelled MP.

Banerjee said the Trinamool Congress stands in full support of Moitra. She said the BJP could not defeat the Trinamool in elections, so they have resorted to vendetta politics. She said Moitra will return to Parliament with a bigger mandate. Banerjee said the BJP thought it can do whatever it wants as they have a brute majority. She added that a day will come when the BJP will not be in power.

After her expulsion from the Lok Sabha, Moitra told reporters outside Parliament that said will fight it out over the next 30 years inside and outside Parliament, inside the gutter and on the streets. She accused the BJP of hating Muslims and women. She claimed Adani was buying all of India’s ports and airports. She said Adani shareholders are foreign investors and the Home Ministry was giving them clearance to buy India’s infrastructure.

Reacting to her expulsion, Moitra said there was no evidence of any cash, any gifts anywhere. She said she had been expelled for sharing her Lok Sabha portal login. She said there are no rules governing the sharing of logins. She said tomorrow the CBI will be sent to her house and she is going to be harassed for the next six months.

Many Opposition parties have supported Moitra over the way she was expelled without getting a chance to put forth her stand.

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Nine newborns, toddler die within 24 hours at Murshidabad Medical College Hospital

Dan said another problem was that renovation work was going on at the Jangipur Hospital and all the patients there are being sent to Mursidabad Medical College. He said only 129 beds were available for 300 patients. He said they were trying their best but were unable to the children who were malnourished and under weight.

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Nine newborn babies and a two-year-old child died within 24 hours at Murshidabad Medical College Hospital in West Bengal. The shocking incident has caused public outrage. According to reports, the babies were shifted from the Special New Born Care Unit at Jangipur Sub-Divisional Hospital to Murshidabad Medical College due to lack of proper facilities.

The sudden influx of patients put pressure on the already overloaded medical college. This led to unfortunate deaths of the new-born babies, the hospital management informed the inquiry committee. On the basis of a preliminary inquiry, it was found most of the children were found to be malnourished and their weight was 300-500 gm only. One child had a severe heart problem since birth.

Professor Amit Dan, Principal of Murshidabad Medical College, said the hospital did not have the facilities to carry out the treatment of the newborn. He said they did not have the time to shift the newborn to any other facility to carry out the treatment.

Dan said another problem was that renovation work was going on at the Jangipur Hospital and all the patients there are being sent to Mursidabad Medical College. He said only 129 beds were available for 300 patients. He said they were trying their best but were unable to attend to the children who were malnourished and underweight.

Dan paid his condolences to the bereaved families and acknowledged a need for thorough investigation in the matter. A medical board of renowned doctors is investigating the matter. The state health department has also issued a statement assuring that necessary measures will be taken for the prevention of such tragedies from occurring again. Reports said some 380 newborns had been sent to the hospital in the last 30 days.    

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PM Modi inaugurates Uttarakhand Global Investors Summit 2023 at the Forest Research Institute

The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand took to X (formerly Twitter) and said hearty welcome on behalf of 1.25 crore people of the state on the arrival of world’s most popular leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has a special attachment to Devbhoomi, a rapidly emerging state with the coordination of Ecology, Economy and Technology.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Uttarakhand Global Investors Summit 2023 at the Forest Research Institute. The two day summit aims to promote the state of Uttarakhand as a major investment destination. PM Modi also launched the house of Himalayas brand to promote local products and increase the income of self help groups.

Before the Inauguration, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami announced the success of the summit, surpassing the targeted MoU signings. The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand said the investments exceeded expectations with Rs 44000 crore have already been materialized on the ground. The substantial investments will help in the generation of employment opportunities for the people of Uttarakhand.

Preparations for the summit have been going on for months. The summit is being attended by more than a thousand investors and delegates from all over India and abroad. The target of the summit is to sign MoUs worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore. But the summit has already exceeded that limit to reach around Rs 3 lakh crore in the run up to the event. The summit saw many roadshows being held by Dhami in India’s metro cities as well as London, Birmingham in the UK, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand took to X (formerly Twitter) and said hearty welcome on behalf of 1.25 crore people of the state on the arrival of world’s most popular leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has a special attachment to Devbhoomi, a rapidly emerging state with the coordination of Ecology, Economy and Technology.

Earlier CM Dhami met the representatives of investor delegates who had arrived for the Uttarakhand Global Investors Summit 2023 on Thursday. Welcoming the representatives of the industry, the chief minister said this time the theme of the investor’s summit has been kept by the government of Uttarakhand as Peace to Prosperity.

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